The repatriation of India-born (now an Antiguan passport holder) fugitive Mehul Choksi from Dominica was put on hold by the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court in the High Court of Justice Commonwealth of Dominica on Friday. He is on the run since 2018.
The next hearing in the case will take place on May 28 at 9 a.m. local time.
Choksi’s Dominica lawyer, Wayne Marsh, had stated that they were denied contact to their client and that it was only on May 27 that he was finally allowed to talk with him.
Mehul Choksi is still in custody and is being investigated: Dominica Police confirms to ANI— ANI (@ANI) May 27, 2021
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“He was severely beaten, his eyes were swelled, and he had multiple scorched marks on his body, which I noted. He told me that he was kidnapped in Antigua’s Jolly Harbour and transported to Dominica by Indian and Antiguan police on a yacht that he described as being about 60-70 feet long “ANI quoted Marsh as saying.
Marsh called it a “travesty of justice,” adding that the entire nation must cry out, and that as a lawyer, he will do all possible to halt Choksi’s mistreatment.
The fugitive diamantaire is entitled to legal representation, according to Marsh, and denying him access is a violation of his human rights.
“First and foremost, Choksi is entitled to legal counsel while in Antigua or Dominica. He is, in fact, an Antiguan national, not an Indian national. I heard Antigua’s Prime Minister Gaston Browne say on the radio this morning that he has instructed the Dominican government to essentially… (I’ll put it this way) essentially take Choksi to India because if he is returned to Antigua, he will be entitled to constitutional protection “Over the phone, Marsh told ANI.
“It is a violation of his human rights, as well as his constitutional rights, and it must stop immediately. We will do everything we can to save him, who is in grave danger. He can’t communicate with his family, which includes his wife, brother, and sister “Added the lawyer.
Choksi approached him since he was the first person the diamantaire could communicate to since he was kidnapped in Antigua, according to the lawyer.
“One of my client’s instructions is that this case requires major public attention, and as a lawyer, we will do everything we can to ensure that he has the legal protection that he needs,” Marsh added.
Prime Minister Gaston Browne of Antigua and Barbuda stated it is ultimately up to Dominica’s government to decide where Mehul Choksi will be repatriated.
“Ultimately, until the Court states otherwise, it is the sovereign prerogative of the government of Dominica as to which country they repatriate Mehul Choksi,” Browne told ANI.
Meanwhile, Choksi’s legal team filed a habeas corpus petition in Dominica on Thursday, highlighting his lack of access to legal counsel there, according to his Indian lawyer, Vijay Aggarwal.
“The legal team has filed a habeas corpus case for Mehul Choksi in Dominica and has also emphasized restriction of access and constitutional rights to him for legal assistance,” Aggarwal told ANI.
Who is Mehul Choksi
Mehul Choksi is an Indian diamond businessman who owned Gitanjali Group. Born on 5th May,1959 Choksi once owned 4000 showrooms across India. He is paternal uncle of Nirav Modi. He has done fraud with PNB (Punjab National Bank) and also was involved in stock market manipulation.
In 2018 Mehul Choksi fled from India before the news of fraud could surface to avoid arrest. In 2017 he took citizenship of Antigua and Barbuda through Citizen Investment Program.